When you spend your childhood
learning how to play with adults
it can be quite confusing
The tears and anger flow from nowhere
and the cross-eye becomes the cross-broom
lying in the room
juxtaposed against the pink roses thriving in the sun
So later on, I mean, now
someone said I never knew what I wanted
because I was either Ali or his bee
But little did they know I was making a list
To feel as light as a cloud
To be surrounded by red geraniums
Windy cold mornings that take your breath away
Perfectly poached eggs and someone to cut the toast
Car sing-a-longs without the side-eye
Horse noses to kiss and turkeys to snuggle
Time to linger in a sanctuary
where only I have the key
endlessly blooming flowers
and friends who get me, really get me
come get me
I’ve stopped feeding the crows.
They come by anyway,
asking when we are going for a car ride.
Even though they annoyed me with their incessant cawing,
and their disregard for seatbelt laws,
I liked their company anyway.
But they started pooping on the seats,
and playing with the radio, so I dropped them off
next to the donkey field.
….but that thing about voices,
do you really need me on camera?
Can’t you just imagine me,
mouth turned down like a peanut, beak journal bound,
pen clutched in my fat talon?
Where has our knowing gone?
Where is Vasalisa the Wise?
Her intuiting doll?
She’s the signal that leads you to Baba Yaga,
where more dark work needs to be done.
Always, Habibi, love what you love.
Talk about the diving bell and the butterfly
Give away all your books.
I promise they will come back.
Your dreams can read them by moonlight.
Sleep. The ghosts are in the chimney again.
Let the wind ease your mind.
“one thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back
they don’t make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry.”
― Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
I apologize to the hounds every day
without saying a word
cuz even the devil thinks the sunny days are sad
I can make tails of it
when it greets me at the door
or morphs, or shapeshifts
but I don’t know what it thinks
or what it wants
I just know it has its own agenda
and it’s making people mad
and not in that good way when people are smokin’ reefer
and Monterey Pop is on
but in that way a child cowers in a corner
then lashes out like a lion
The sirens went off, and there was silence again.
Call and response, hear the tiny wrens.
“Where have all the planes gone?” one twittered.
“I can’t get my bearings,” said the other.
Said a third:
“The hummers used to show us where to land.”
I can write the loneliest verses today.
Say, for example, “Alone is soft.”
Are we alone?
It doesn’t matter anymore, what’s below my feet.
The Scottish Play says “quiet.”
I didn’t have the heart to wake you.
It’s only a blanket.
Soft around the oils.
Eyes close in blue ridges. Dreams come.
Never again. Sometimes.
Breeze through the glories
Vines like a river, like a wave
Painted gold, leaves shimmering
When my eyes told you I love you,
you tried to touch me with your tendrils.
Your dress, worn softly and falling apart,
revealed a mouse’s treasure beneath your blooms.
And purple trumpets, emerging from your shoulders,
announced the morning rain.
Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”
The cars are a river that wake with me
Silver and silent, going nowhere
The planes are up at 6 am, but their song isn’t pretty
Instead they sear the sky and hit the birds,
blood and feathers in the wings
The lights come on
but they aren’t the sun or the bright moon
They are green and harsh
Sometimes they are red
She is erased, but I still watch her
The drunk, there
Looks like no other
peering out from the pain
ethanol sits there between us
waving like the summer heat
so there’s no embrace
only breath perception
you can’t, you aren’t
I am not
the tears don’t come, and I’m more sad than angry
but I don’t miss her anymore
Why do we gaze at stars?
Birds used to swim, before they could fly.
The longer we swim, the more likely we will grow wings.
The sailors, then, is that why they watch you?
Yes, otherwise they’ll never be free.
So, sailors are like fish caterpillars, waiting to emerge?
Yes, like an unborn star.
How are stars born?
Light, balance, and force.
Just those things?
Maybe some fairy dust.
What happens when you fall?
A million wishes are made.
Who do you fall for?
The purest of hearts.
Do their wishes come true?
Look for yourself.
I dreamt last night I was a volcano,
but afraid of my own power
I erupted bitterness instead of fire
The neglected dog two doors down
is a different heat
and it burns my belly to imagine him there
under the hot light of a back porch
Night winds cool the winds of the day
that are harsher in their own way
the sun swept around in the branches
is mad there is no shadows
and basks the leaves in a blinding light
“Ravens are the birds I’ll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.”
We’re always left to ponder,
where do birds go when they die?
Do they disintegrate in the air,
or return to the ground?
I held my last bird in my hands.
As the vet injected him, I was able to pet his head for the first time,
I told him to say hello to the other birds when he gets there,
but it’s not heaven. Heaven doesn’t exist.
And the souls of all the little birds surround us, in the air beyond the clouds.
We’re always left to ponder,
where do the Ravens go when they die?
Do they, as the saying goes,
become part of the dark sky?
Are they shrouded by the ebony wings of their unkindred,
and die in secret?
Pigeon, I see your feathers on the ground.
Maybe just two with no body, perfectly staged like a killer’s art.
What did you take…
or what was taken from you?
We’re always left to ponder, how does the hummingbird die?
Tiny, fragile, in the cup of a hand,
or drowning in the nectar of a foxglove?